Hyundai launching its semi self-driving features earlier than planned

The race to bring self-driving features to market is stepping up in a big way, now that GM’s Super Cruise is set to arrive in the Cadillac CT6 later this year, and Audi has announced it’ll ship its Level 3 self-driving tech in the next A8. Hyundai is speeding up its own timeline for commercialization of its “Highway Driving Assist 2” (HDA2) semi-autonomous features as a result.

The HDA2 system is properly considered a Level 2 autonomous feature, similar to Tesla’s Autopilot. The software handles speed and stops in highway driving conditions, and also handles changing to a crossroad, entering a junction, and merging onto a main road automatically when a driver indicates their intent to do so via their turn signal.

The introduction of HDA2 will “minimize intervention by drivers,” according to Hyundai speaking to the Electronic Times. The tech “nears level 3 on freeways” according to the company, and its introduction will help to achieve the carmaker’s goals of commercializing fully autonomous vehicles for consumers by 2022.

Hyundai had self-driving tech on display at CES, and has espoused a lightweight approach in terms of computing and sensor types in favor of detailed maps to keep costs down for consumers. The company is not generally perceived as a leader in the space, however, and deploying this tech earlier than intended could help it make up ground thanks to data collection efforts.